The COVID-19 pandemic has tested all of us in a huge variety of ways. But most importantly, it has shone a clear and harsh light on the realities of discrimination and human rights abuses that persons with disabilities experience on a daily basis across the globe. If nothing else, this year has been a stark reminder that we have a long way to go.
Being realistic, COVID-19 is here, it is going to remain a part of our shared lives for some time to come, and affect us personally and organisationally. I hope that it also creates in the medium-term an understanding of the connectedness of the world, even as we see in Europe and worldwide an unpleasant nationalistic approach to the response in the form of border controls, vaccine squabbles, and even the naming of the virus. But for us, the key is that we use this crisis to bring us even closer together, in order to Build Back Inclusively by pulling people out of poverty and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. It means including all communities, in particular the most marginalised, and also tackling existential challenges such as climate change and protecting the environment. Only by addressing simultaneously social, environmental, and economic factors can recovery plans build sustainable resilience to current and future shocks.
This end-goal is within reach, as long as we continue working ever more closely together, as a network but also with key partners and institutions such as the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU) to name a few.
As you will see when reading this report, the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) engaged in the global response to the pandemic. Some highlights to point out – but more detail is included in the report itself:
- The COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor (DRM) collaboration was a really effective response to the growing nature of the pandemic, and the need for our advocacy on an inclusive response to be based on real evidence of the impact on people with disabilities, in their own words.
- The formal acknowledgement of the huge range of input and experience we bring to the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network, through our becoming full members alongside others who contribute knowledge, staffing, and financial resources to the movement.
- The new direct partnership with the United Nations (UN) Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PRPD).
- The concerted and collaborative campaigns together with IDA calling on all governments and international cooperation actors to ensure people with disabilities are included in COVID-19 response and recovery policies and programmes, in line with governments’ commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Download IDDC external activity report 2020-2021